Ringrose sends instructions along the line against Bath. Tommy Dickson/INPHO

'You just can't afford to let up for one second': Pain of defeat driving Ringrose's on-field intensity

The Leinster centre comfortably switches between very different personas on and off the field.

MIDWAY THROUGH HIS fourth season as a pro, Garry Ringrose’s class and quality has been clear to see for some time. It would be hard to argue against the case that it was clear in the years before that too.

However, there are qualities less obvious than his athletic grace, steely tackle and silky pass which are aiding Ringrose’s progression among the game’s elite centres.

When he speaks in public or with the media, the former Blackrock starlet’s voice is soft, comments are measured and a warm smile is never far from his lips.

Keep a close eye on Leinster or Ireland team huddles, though, and you see the blue-eyed boy next door spitting fire and jabbing a finger in the direction of his team-mates, demanding standards and intent are not allowed to dip.

Ringrose doesn’t see himself as different animals on and off the pitch. The transition seems to come naturally for him. The 23-year-old just sees it as being himself.

“Maybe my team-mates could give you a better answer for that,” Ringrose said as he renewed his ambassador role with PWC.

“I try to do me, give my best for the team.

“And if something needs to be said, I don’t try and overthink it, just say what needs to be said. That can be the same for anyone in the group. There’s no rank, it doesn’t matter if you’ve 100 caps, or one cap. If you have something that can contribute to the group, then don’t hold it back.”

Rank and respect from peers does exist. It is earned. In one of the warm-up huddles before the November win over New Zealand, it was Ringrose who bent the ears of the squad as intensity was cranked up. In the much lower key Test win over the US, he read the riot act under the posts after a try was conceded. 

With or without Robbie Henshaw and Johnny Sexton inside him when Toulouse visit the RDS this weekend, he will still take responsibility for the back-line on when it’s required.

For all the success achieved by the centre in his short career with Leinster and Ireland, the defeats he has suffered still stick out and define his approach to the next task at hand. So when he is asked how Leinster might set about establishing a legacy as one of the great European teams, Ringrose looks over his shoulder to see the easy answer.

“It doesn’t feel like too long ago when we were beaten by Scarlets in a semi-final and were beaten by Treviso. In the last game (before Christmas) we were nearly beaten by Connacht so we would have any worries about that. There is still is the fear of losing at home.

“In terms of trying to be the best, backing it up, I don’t know. My memory is seeing Saracens do it back-to-back which is an incredibly tough thing to do – stating the obvious.

“I don’t know whether that defines a great team. A great team is one that doesn’t get too caught up in all of that and just tries to be ruthless and win at every opportunity, you just play. And that’s what I would focus on.”

EA3I8233 Leinster and Ireland Rugby International Garry Ringrose at the official announcement of the player’s partnership renewal with PWC Ireland.

He adds: “If you just take your eye off the ball or get distracted or don’t focus on the immediate challenge, you just get beaten… my parents and girlfriend slag me because each week I am like: ‘no, no, this is the most important game!’

“And it really is because you just can’t afford to let up for one second. Each day is an opportunity to prepare and be better and then obviously each game, you just have to make sure you give absolutely everything.

“I always say, you have to give it individually and then hopefully collectively, if you want to win, especially against a team like Toulouse.”

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel